Winter has come. It’s that time of year again — when the snow begins to fall and the roads become slick with ice.
For tire businesses, this is an opportunity to capitalize on the cold — and get your winter marketing campaigns started early.
This season promises to be particularly harsh in some states, with experts forecasting the El Niño weather pattern seeing plummeting temperatures and rising snowfall. A December 2015-February 2016 temperature outlook released by The Weather Channel Professional Division forecasts “a colder than average winter may be on the horizon for portions of the Southwest, Southern Plains, Southeast and East Coast”, and winter weather expert for The Weather Channel, Tom Nizoli, predicts, “parts of the nation will see a much different winter than they have seen in the past two years.”
With all that in mind, now’s a good time to encourage motorists to take precautionary measures and change to winter tires. A recent Google study, Capturing Aftermarket Winter Demand, reported just 56 percent of drivers living in cold climates plan to prep their vehicle for winter this year. Of those, just 11 percent plan to buy snow tires.
With such a significant proportion of drivers in cold weather climates not thinking about prepping their vehicle for winter, how do you persuade them to change to winter tires before the storm hits? Perhaps start by using weather reports and their findings as a hook in your marketing campaign, especially businesses in regions most affected — and especially targeting drivers wanting to keep their families safe. Using a sense of relevancy and urgency by tailoring the campaign and call to action to the audience will increase the chance of the customer rushing out to purchase winter tires.
Another effective way to ensure a successful marketing campaign is by starting early. The Google study reported nearly half of all snow tire shoppers buy their tires in September and October. Therefore, getting the campaign off the ground a month or two before the real winter weather strikes allows your business to secure one of the top two types of drivers fueling the growth. Known as proactive drivers, these are people who are interested in safety and searching for the “best” tire. They like to conduct in-depth research and cross-shop so they can make an informed decision before the purchase. To capture this target market, it’s important your business has a highly structured marketing campaign set out in advance, with all the information the proactive drivers need to make a choice.
Similarly, keeping your marketing campaign strong throughout the entire winter is a great way to reel in the other half of the consumer base. Known as reactive drivers, these people tend to get their vehicle ready at the last minute. Waiting until the storm hits to get new tires, reactive drivers conduct most of their research via mobile. Therefore, an always-on strategy is needed to win over this audience.
How to get winter tire marketing messages out
Here are some great ways to get your winter tire marketing messages out to attract customers to your dealership.
Consider a Google Adwords campaign targeting winter and snow tires in your area.
Participate in car care safety days in your local area to help educate the public about the importance of winter tires
Send an email newsletter out to your customer base with coupons to encourage them to consider winter tires early
Review your website to make sure it talks about the importance of winter tires.